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Safety Harbor Candidates Comment On The Eve of 2014 Election

The seven Safety Harbor election candidates at the forum on  Jan. 29.
The seven 2014 Safety Harbor election candidates.

We’re one day away from the 2014 Safety Harbor municipal election, and for the seven candidates vying for the three open commission seats, the campaigning, stumping and hand shaking is nearly over.

With that in mind, Safety Harbor Connect reached out to the candidates to get their final thoughts before the voters head to the polls on Tuesday.

Here are the verbatim responses of each of the seven candidates, listed in alphabetical order by seat:


Joe Ayoub-
This campaign has been a great opportunity to engage the citizens of Safety Harbor to hear what issues are important to them and what direction they want to see our city move in. It has also been a humbling experience to receive so much support from both people I’ve known a long time and people I’ve just met. I compliment all the candidates for their willingness to put themselves out there and hope that the best people win.

Nancy J. Besore-
Thanks to all who have sent in their ballots, and to those who will cast votes on March 11th. You are the reason democracy works! I also wish to thank everybody for the kind waves, or enthusiastic honks, we candidates experience while sign-waving – my personal favorite part of the campaign process.

Please find me at Whistle Stop on Main Street, Safety Harbor election night, if you would like to share the exhilaration of a win, or share a handshake or hug for other outcomes!

Andy Steingold-
During my service as your commissioner and mayor from 2005-January 2013, I made promises, and I kept them.

When you asked to preserve Safety Harbor’s way of life, I pushed to reduce density and height of developments, ensured responsible development that fit into the personality of our city, implemented a tree preservation ordinance and free tree give away program, pushed to purchase Waterfront Park and other greenspace, and initiated city-wide beautification projects including Bayshore Blvd., 9th Ave N., Philippe Pkwy and Main St.

When there were neighborhood issues that threatened your quality of life, I worked to prevent a school bus depot behind Briar Creek and Country Villas, initiated creek restoration, increased neighborhood beautification grants, had abandoned ponds cleaned up, and worked to get Briar Creek residents the traffic light they requested.

When you sought fiscal responsibility, I maintained the same millage rate for 2011, 2012 and 2013 and strived to provide more services for less money.

When we out-grew our library, it was expanded.

I have worked diligently to do the will of the people and I ask for your vote on March 11 to preserve the oasis we call Safety Harbor, and to restore your confidence in our city leadership.

Seat #3:

Dean Harmeson-
Safety Harbor Residents, Next Tuesday you have a very important decision to make, a decision that will impact our City for years to come. I trust that you will evaluate the candidates, what they stand for, what they have done or have not done, and their actions which speak louder than their words. We need to ensure we elect leadership that is honest, steadfast, devoted and compassionate about doing the right things for our City.

I’ve lived in Safety harbor for 3 years, in that time I’ve been heavily involved in multiple aspects of the community (Planning and Zoning Board, Board of Appeals, Safety Harbor Middle School-School Advisory Council Chairman, Homeowners Association President and youth sports coach). I’ve served our community with honor and dignity, always striving to provide the best possible solutions for our citizens.

I’ve demonstrated leadership, community involvement, and citizen focus for the last 15 years. I bring the experience, leadership, and ability to see all sides of issues and make decisions that are in the best interest of the citizens. At this critical time for the commission (majority of the seats up for election or re-election) we need someone with experience that can plug right in and get to work, not learn on the job. I am that leader and would be honored to receive your vote on March 11th. Thank you.

Andy Zodrow-
It has been a pleasure working on the campaign to run for the City of Safety Harbor Commission Seat #3. I hope I can serve the residents of Safety Harbor in determining the future development of this great town. My goal will be focused on community development while maintaining the character of the town. I look to provide an independent fresh view at the issues affecting our community.

In addition, I promise to represent the will of the people rather than solely those of any special interest groups. That will be my primary guide for decision making for the future of Safety Harbor.

I look forward to serving as your commissioner for Seat #3. Thank you and I want to thank all those who voted for me and will vote for me this Tuesday!

Seat #4:

Carlos Diaz-
It will be interesting to see the results of the campaign. My focus throughout the campaign was to introduce myself to all Safety Harbor neighborhoods and give them an opportunity to know me. I have gone to over 1500 homes throughout the city to personally introduce myself and organized and attended many events during this campaign. I am very satisfied the way the community has embraced me and feel blessed to have met so many wonderful and interesting people.

After all the campaigning, I feel even stronger that I better represent the interests of the community and that I can better progress Safety Harbor with those interests in mind. I believe the great community that we have is our most important asset and keeping our community engaged in our city will keep Safety Harbor thriving. I want to thank Safety Harbor for this opportunity and I would be honored to represent this great community.

Ray R. Irvin-
I believe SH is at a crossroads.

Joe, Carlos and Dean want any development they can get now, if their contributors want what ever they are pushing the three will go for it. My side believes we want development that fits into our community, development that enhances our quality of life and not contribute to urban sprawl in SH.

Andy, Andy and myself I believe hold a loftier vision for our community, one driven by what the citizens want not the developers. Look at the campaign funding of each candidate, and who and what are the businesses and stated goals of those contributors. Safety Harbor is being sold out and not by my side in this election, so my advise to voters, do some home work, look behind the political advertising and ask who do you want running your community for you? Rather than developers, there is only one answer Andy, Andy and Ray.

For more information on the 2014 Safety Harbor municipal election, including polling locations, click here.



  1. Open Letter to Our Incoming Mayor and Commissioners: I am appalled and sickened by the negative, onerous, rude, mean-spirited campaign in the mayor’s race. The sign issues at the entrance to our subdivision I would compare to cantankerous kinder-garden children removing signs, moving signs, stealing signs…outrageous behavior by local zealots. Who stirred up these folks that they would behave in such a degrading manner? For way too long the campaign has been petty, nasty and crazed. It is my wish that now that the election is over the newly elected can resolve to put aside all the slurs, insults and lies and find a way to work together. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and folks believe what they will, but this election has left me with a really bad taste for Safety Harbor politics. This is local politics at its very worst, decadent, obnoxious and downright dangerous – similar but even worse than our U.S. House of Representatives.

  2. Ray Irvin’s response is a classic fear tactic that politicians place on voters. When a politician lacks substance or courage to talk about his/her attributes, they try to downgrade their opponent’s. It’s unfortunate that Ray is so uneducated on my platform. Otherwise, he would be completely aware that the statements he has made above are untrue and show a lack of character. The facts are that I am a committed, long time Safety Harbor resident who is aligned with no special interest groups. My donor list is not comprised of developers, as Ray would have you believe. I have run a clean campaign and have worked tirelessly to meet thousands of Safety Harbor residents over the last two months and share my vision. I think the voters would be best served by the candidates sharing their own positions, rather than resorting to negative and inaccurate facts about other candidates. Anyone who is interested in learning the facts about my viewpoints is welcome to visit my website at http://www.electdiaz.com

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